Plenary Group and Colonial First State Property Retail have reached a 50/50 joint venture deal to buy the South Wharf DFO from debt-stricken Austexx.

The Group has increased its interest in the development from 25 per cent to 50 per cent.

According to John O’Rourke, Plenary Group principal, the deal compliments its Melbourne Convention Centre PPP and Hilton Melbourne South Wharf investments.

"Having held a stake in the project from inception in 2006, we now look forward to completing the riverside food and beverage offer with tenant fit-out and occupation," he said.

The restaurants and cafés along this north facing Yarra river frontage will be the public face of the precinct, creating a vibrant and lively new feature for Victorians and tourists alike, rounding out the complete South Wharf offering.

Remaining precinct works stalled by the sale process will commence straight away in the new year and we want to have the whole precinct trading by August 2011.